Wednesday 2 August 2023

Crewing the T-34-85 at Capel 2023

A month ago I joined the Capel Military Show as a T-34-85 tank crewman. With a full crew, hatches shut, and cannons firing outside, it was a great chance to experience what I've only read about. Watch my latest video for my impressions. 


  1. I think this video is superior to those made by the Chieftain's Hatch on the T-34/85, where Nicholas Moran didn't like the T-34/85, saying it was 'cramped' and complaining of several crew positions. I think Moran's videos, though good in many ways, can suffer as he often is comparing nearly empty German vehicles (like a PzIV that didn't have either ammo or a radio) vs a fully-equipped one like the T-34/85. You went a step further in than he in having yours crewed.

    I say this as the article you posted showing the interior volumes of tanks (both unequipped and fully-equipped):

    indicate that there is a large reduction in interior volume once you add ammo, equipment, and crew. Ergo, getting into an empty tank and declaring it spacious compared to a tank full of ammo and equipment isn't a fair comparison. The interior volumes in this post would indicate that the PzIV did not have a ergonomics advantage over the T-34/85.

    And as for the video, I would likely think that your fellow crew members were older, stockier, and probably taller than the average wartime T-34/85 crew. And yet you managed.

    1. The first T-34-85 I've been in was empty, it had no seats or floor bins, plus I was alone in it. It was like a banquet hall in there! With ammo, equipment, and people it's definitely a tighter fit, but nothing terrible. I think that Nick who stands head and shoulders above me would have issues, but I ended up the perfect height.